Sunderland v West Ham: Black Cats have faith in Gus Poyet escaping Premier League relegation

Points must be gained from games in hand

Gus Poyet will not wilt under the pressure of trying to guide Sunderland through a relegation battle, says coach Charlie Oatway as they prepare for tonight’s crucial visit of West Ham.

Sunderland have occupied a place in the relegation zone for much of the season and have taken just a single point from their last four league games to leave themselves in a perilous position.

However, Poyet remains confident he can inspire the change in fortunes which is required during the remaining weeks of the campaign, according to his assistant.

Oatway said: “You will never change Gus. He sees the common sense in football and how it’s played, and the rights and wrongs, and that’s for our team as well as anyone else. As far as he is concerned, and the way he sets up, he feels and wants to win every game.

“We need to make sure we get the results, that goes without saying. But the philosophy of how we want to play and how we do play I don’t think is going to change that much.

“We could say we are going to change it against West Ham, we are going to play 11 players who we feel can get the ball forward and get it into the box. But we haven’t got that and we would lose against West Ham so we can’t do that, we have to do what we are good at.”

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